Beacons Way (Ffordd y Bannau)
The Beacons Way is a 100 mile walking trail through some of the most varied and beautiful upland landscapes in Great Britain. Starting from Holy Mountain at Abergavenny it heads westward to Bethlehem, covering the full length of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Designed for experienced walkers, it can be completed over eight consecutive days or explored as a series of linear walks. The route, mainly through open country, has very little lane or road walking.
John Sansom, designer of the Trail for the Brecon Beacons Park Society, has chosen a route that reveals the splendour of this relatively underused National Park. There are a host of stunning and contrasting landscapes to be experienced ranging from windswept uplands to reservoirs, ancient woodlands and breathtaking waterfalls. While the route takes in the main high spots, for much of the time it frequents landscapes known only to those who have had time to explore over the years. There is no doubt that all who attempt the Beacons Way will want to return again to continue their exploration of this very beautiful area.
This is an upland walk and should only be attempted by walkers with reasonable hill walking experience. The ability to navigate in thick mist with a map and compass is essential. Clearly in such remote areas the options for accommodation are limited and on two of the legs the only possibility is a Youth Hostel. These often get fully booked, so plan this walk well in advance and make bookings. The guide book has accommodation information and local TIC's can often make bookings for you. You will need to stay in Abergavenny prior to setting out and the other overnight locations are Llanthony; Crickhowell; Bwlch orLlangynidr; Craig Cerrig-gleisiad; Craig-y-nos; Llanddeusant; Carreg Cennen and Llangadog.
The most physically demanding section of the trail is on the fourth day: from Bwlch or Llangynidr to Storey Arms and Llwyn-y-celyn Youth Hostel. The guide provides an alternative adverse weather route for this section using part of the Taff Trail, but there is no way to miss out the ascent of Pen y Fan from the east. The route from Craig-y-nos on day 6 is easy to follow should you experience fog, but the route from Llanddeusant Youth Hostel to Carreg Cennan Castle on day 7 is difficult in foggy conditions. Once again, the guide provides an alternative country lane route for this section which it would be advisable to take in bad weather.
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